Students should experience a vibrant music and drama curriculum so that they can express ideas creatively and confidently, and be receptive to the ideas of others. A Performing Arts curriculum should lead to a greater understanding not only of performance traditions and forms, but also of political, social and ethical issues.
Drama is a popular subject at St. Mary’s. In Years 7 to 9 pupils receive a one-hour lesson per week; thereafter, those who have been steadily demonstrating potential to benefit from Drama at Key Stage 4 may opt for three lessons per week at GCSE, where results are well above the national average. The Drama department is a place where it is safe to make mistakes and to learn from them, and for pupils to develop their confidence in communication, whether or not they wish to specialise in Drama in their later time at St. Mary’s.
Throughout a pupil’s involvement with Drama, the Department aims to develop:
- the use of a range of dramatic forms to express ideas and feelings, with pupils responding creatively and constructively to a variety of stimuli.
- the ability to communicate effectively through the language of space, movement and words
- imagination, characterisation, devising and performing skills.
- confidence in the pupils’ own abilities, particularly in the areas of independent working, verbal & non-verbal communication and team work.
- pupils’ skills in evaluating their own and others’ work.
Key Stage 3:
The Key Stage Three curriculum teaches all the practical skills needed in preparation for the GCSE specification. Written homework is based on the topics listed below, with termly examination papers that - whilst scaled to the Key Stage 3 learner – mimic the structure and content of a GCSE paper.
Key Stage 3 Drama vocabulary CLICK HERE
Year 7 - Topics taught
- Voice and movement in 'Macbeth'.
- Characterization within a historical context in 'Oliver Twist'.
- Naturalistic Drama in 'The Winslow Boy'.
- Comic timing and response to sound effects in 'Detention'.
- Ensemble work in 'The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty'.
Year 8 - Topics taught
- Action narration in 'The Interview'.
- Breaking the fourth wall in 'The Interview'.
- Script extension in 'Advice For The Young At Heart'.
- Pitch, pace and pause in 'Advice For The Young At Heart'.
- Intonation and emotional directions in 'Advice For The Young At Heart'.
Year 9 – topics taught
- Volume, tone & enunciation in comedy with the 'Hearing Aid Sketch'.
- Playwriting of characters & situations to a specified brief in 'Stone Cold'.
- Performing a unified piece of Drama of 3 minutes’ duration in 'Stone Cold'.
- Non-naturalistic, physical comedy & playwriting in Commedia dell’ Arte.
- Writing and performing a speech for selection in year 10 for the Speakout Challenge.
- Performing naturalistic, contemporary Drama with the work of Bola Agbaje, Roy Williams & Winsome Pinnock.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 – topics taught for examination in 2018
- Devised practical performance with the techniques of Bertolt Brecht.
- The construction of a portfolio of evidence to substantiate devised work.
- The practical study of a set text - Dennis Kelly’s 'DNA' - for written examination.
- Performance of the work of a published playwright for external examination in Spring 2018.
Year 11 – topics taught for examination in 2017
- Devised practical performance with the techniques of Bertolt Brecht: 40%
- Devised practical performance report: 20%
- Performance of a play extract by a published playwright: 20%
- Final written examination on the set text 'Face' by Benjamin Zephaniah: 20%
The Head of Drama is an examiner and moderator for WJEC GCSE Drama, whose specification is followed at St. Marys.
WJEC GCSE Drama course weighting for examination in 2018 CLICK HERE
GCSE DRAMA key words: analytical, structural and theatrical terms CLICK HERE
GCSE DRAMA key words: conventions, forms, strategies & techniques CLICK HERE
GCSE DRAMA Unit 2 performance from a text: A to A* video exemplars
Unit 2 Exemplar #1 - ' Design for Living'
Unit 2 Exemplar #2 - ' Two Can Play'
Unit 2 Exemplar #3 - ' Gone Too Far'
GCSE DRAMA unit 3 past paper 2015 CLICK HERE
GCSE DRAMA unit 3 past paper 2016 CLICK HERE